Turtle Cake Squares: German Chocolate Cake Twist

by Alli

This post, Turtle Cake Squares, contains affiliate links. If you click the link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

To see my collection of recipes with pecans, check out my Best Recipes Featuring Pecans.

This recipe for Turtle Cake Squares starts with a German chocolate cake mix. These squares are perfect for dessert, snacks or when you’re craving chocolate and nothing else will do.

When I was growing up, two of my favorites that mom made were German Chocolate Cake and Turtles candy. Even when I was all grown up, she continued to make the best turtles I’ve ever eaten. This recipe reminds me of my two favorites that mom made so it’s kinda special to me.

This recipe is not only delicious but it’s easy to make as well. It bakes in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and makes enough for my large family. I love that I don’t have to double a recipe to make sure I have enough to go around.

Ingredients For Turtle Cake Squares

This easy recipe requires a German chocolate cake mix, a bag of caramels, evaporated milk, butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and pecans (or your favorite nuts). My favorite happens to be pecans so that’s how I roll.

Preparation Steps

In a double boiler over medium heat, combine caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Stir until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Helpful Hint: If you don’t have a double boiler, you can buy one here

In place of a double boiler, you can simmer a few inches of water in a saucepan. Place a metal or glass bowl on top of a saucepan, making sure the bowl fits snugly. Be careful when you remove the bowl from the top of the saucepan because it will be hot.

Double Boiler to melt caramels for Turtle Cake Squares

Combine the cake mix with the butter and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. Press half of the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350º F. for 6 minutes.

Press first layer of Turtle Cake Squares into the pan.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips.

Sprinkle first layer with chocolate chips

Sprinkle chopped pecans over the chocolate chips.

Sprinkle Pecans Over the Chocolate Chips to Make Turtle Cake Squares

Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the chips and nuts.

Pour caramel over the nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop the remainder of the cake mixture over the caramel. Return to the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Turtle Cake Squares - Ready to Bake

Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

Turtle Cake Squares Ready to Serve

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Turtle Cake Squares

How to make Turtle Cake Squares


  • 1 bag caramels (14 oz)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a double boiler over medium heat, combine caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, butter and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Beat until well combined.
  4. Press half of the cake mixture in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350º for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over crust. Pour caramel mixture evenly over chips and pecans. Drop remainder of cake mixture over the caramel mixture.
  5. Return to the oven and bake 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut into small bars. Store at room temperature.

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The next time you’re craving chocolate, try this recipe. You’ll love it! It’s the perfect dessert when entertaining family and friends.

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